Khieu Samphan Has a Panic Attack; Hospitalized
KRouge leader Khieu Samphan to be hospitalised in Phnom Penh
3 hours ago
PHNOM PENH, Nov 14, 2007 (AFP) - Former Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan,
whose imminent arrest by Cambodia's UN-backed genocide court is widely
expected, will be hospitalised Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said.
The 76-year-old will be flown from his home in the former rebel stronghold
of Pailin, in northwest Cambodia, to the capital Phnom Penh for treatment
after suffering unusually high blood pressure Tuesday night, Hun Sen said.
"I have ordered a helicopter to transfer him to hospital," he said at a
Earlier Wednesday, Khieu Samphan's wife, Sor Socheat, said her husband's
health had returned to normal after an apparent panic attack overnight.
"He was suffering from high blood pressure but he's back to normal now," Sor
Socheat told AFP.
Khieu Samphan, the Khmer Rouge's former head of state, was ready to face
court, she said, just days after two other senior regime cadre were arrested
for their alleged roles in one of the 20th century's most brutal regimes.
"He is not worried about being arrested. He has been ready to face the
tribunal for a long time now," she said, speaking from Pailin, where Khieu
Samphan has lived since surrendering to the government in 1998.
A family friend who did not want to be named said Khieu Samphan had been
"happily" discussing the tribunal, which was established last year to try
former Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes committed during their 1975-79 rule.
Up to two million people were executed, or died of starvation and overwork
when the regime tried to forge an agrarian utopia, abolishing religion,
money and schools, and driving nearly the entire population onto vast
Former regime foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith, who was
social affairs minister, were arrested Monday and charged with war crimes
and crimes against humanity, bringing to four the number of former Khmer
Rouge facing the tribunal.
Khmer Rouge ideologue Nuon Chea and prison chief Duch have also been
Khieu Samphan, a French-educated radical whose Marxist theories loosely
influenced the communist Khmer Rouge's policies, is widely believed to be
the fifth person who will be arrested by the court.